Format: LP, Vinyl
Following the success of the EP ‘Through Walls’ Golden Mean are back with a superb debut album on the ever brilliant jazz-refreshed label. Featuring a slightly altered lineup with drummer Jamie Murray coming in to join the already esteemed lineup of Tom Dresslier (Yuseff Kamaal), Luke Wynter (Joe Armon-Jones, Nubiyan Twist), and Lyle Baton (Emma Jean-Thackaray), the group embark on a highly sophisticated album with surging groove, deep harmony, and soaring synths.
The album possesses a very high level of musicianship which alongside the writing, often means the music contains a slight prog-rock element. There are to some rich harmonic and rhythmical changes that put you through your paces but this is not without thought.The opening track ‘Intra’ lays out the rest of the album perfectly, a tune jam packed with groove which then breaks in to a lyrical chorus with three time changes that stretch and play with the phrase. The second track, and title of the album, is where things really get going as both the guitar and keys solos take you off on their respective journeys, each with their own improvisational style and interplay. There is also some masterful sound design courtesy of Lewis Moody (30/70) letting you access an even more cosmic dimension.
As fiery as the album is, there are also moments of reflection and calmness. Track four ‘Minature’ is a slower tune, with a more soulful tip letting you come upon for air before diving into the penultimate two tracks again filled with that infectious groove in Murrays playing. The final tune ‘Terra’ provides the perfect ending to a brilliant album, a hazy samba track with brushes and piano, the group choosing to rid themselves of the synthesisers and sound design heard in the earlier tracks. All in all this is a highly accomplished album, that invites the listener to be challenged and rewarded in equal measure. Up there with other top UK jazz this year and no doubt a formidable force live.